RCMP phone lines tied up with scam and fraud reports

The RCMP is reminding the public to report scams to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre or report them online.

Force asking public to send complaints to the right places

The RCMP on P.E.I. says emergency response lines are getting tied up by people calling to report scams.

The RCMP is reminding the public to report scams to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre or report them online instead of calling police directly.

On P.E.I., detachments receive calls about new scams every day.

"It seems we've had a period over the last few weeks that likely the number of Islanders receiving scam calls has increased," said Staff Sgt. Kevin Baillie. 

"That's where the concern initially came. That our dispatchers have reported that they're spending a significant amount of time on the phone with people reporting that they've received one of these scam calls.

When people call the emergency telephone line to report contact with possible scam artists, they can create a backlog, which can delay RCMP responses to urgent calls from the public.

'Don't give out any information'

The RCMP says the best protection against fraud is education and vigilance.

"Just don't give out any information over the phone to someone who you don't definitely know, and if at all, a call or an email seems suspicious do some checking before giving any information," Baillie said.

Staff Sgt. Kevin Baillie says if someone suspects a scam phone call they shouldn't press any numbers and should hang up immediately. (CBC)

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre "seniors are especially vulnerable to scams," but anyone can become a victim.

Baillie said people should call police if they are the victim of a scam and have been defrauded. 

"Certainly if someone has incurred a loss or been the actual victim of a fraud as a result of one of these calls then we're certainly encouraging them to report it to the police."